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Renewables

Upcoming events!

Comprehensive Review of Vermont’s Renewable & Clean Electricity Policies and Programs 

The Department of Public Service is currently reviewing the policies and programs related to renewable electricity to determine what changes are necessary to achieve state energy and climate goals. Input from the public is critical. There are opportunities for Vermonters to share their opinions and suggestions. 

Thank you to those who have already provided recommendations for the 2022 Comprehensive Energy Plan and the 2021 Climate Action Plan in addition to the Request for Input issued in July 2022 on this topic.  Your recommendations helped the Department develop this process.

    Upcoming events!

    1/13/23: Please join us to learn more about Vermont’s current electric system and attend one of the upcoming webinars.

    • What are the webinars about? The Department will explain where Vermont’s electricity comes from, what policies and programs support the use of renewable electricity, and provide information about the process to develop future programs and policies that will further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
       
    • Who might be interested? Ratepayers, energy committee members, students -- anyone who wants to know where Vermont’s electricity comes from and what policies and programs support renewable electricity.

    Webinars will be recorded and made available on the Department’s website shortly after each event.

    ♦ Accessibility: Please request reasonable accommodations by calling the Department at 1-800-622-4496 or emailing PSD-REPrograms@vermont.gov. Please submit your request 10 calendar days in advance of the webinar.

     

    Previous events and supplemental information

    RFI Supporting Materials

    • Request for Input overview:

      • This two-page document provides a high-level description of the Request for Input and general scope of information under consideration. This document serves as an initial primer to the RFI, before diving into the specific questions under consideration.

    • Visual Comparison of Potential Timelines: The Department's Request for Input asks a couple questions regarding how Vermonters would like to see the review of renewable and clean electricity programs and policies occur. In particular, the questions reference Appendix A of the Request for Input, which details two illustrative timelines of how this process could occur. To support review of and reflection on those timelines, the Department has developed a high-level visual of these two timelines, highlighting core milestones in each potential process.

    • VECAN Webinar and Supporting Slides: In addition to these written materials, staff from the Department participated in a webinar with the Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network (VECAN) on July 29, 2022, to discuss the Request for Input and answer participants' questions on the effort. The recording from that webinar, slides, and other materials are available for review via VECAN's website at: https://vecan.net/vecan-vermont-public-service-department-webinar-rfi-for-vermonts-electricity-policies-and-programs/

    Comprehensive Energy Plan

    The Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP) sets out a pathway for Vermont to obtain 90% of its energy from renewable sources by 2050. This ambitious goal calls on all citizens to take actions that will collectively transform the way we use and produce energy in our electric, transportation, and heating sectors. Some of the main policies and incentives available to Vermonters that will help effect this transformation are highlighted below. For an in-depth look at the CEP's goals and recommendations, please review the 2022 Comprehensive Energy Plan.

    Renewable Energy Standard

    Beginning in 2017 the Vermont Renewable Energy Standard (RES) required utilities to meet certain goals. Specifically, by 2032, to:

    • Meet 75% of sales with renewable energy (55% in 2017, 59% in 2020)
    • Meet 10% of sales with distributed generation (1% in 2017, 2.2% in 2020)
    • Meet 12% of sales with "energy transformation projects" (2% in 2017, 4% in 2020)*

    *Municipal electric utilities having not more than 6,000 customers have different targets (2.67% in 2020; 10.67% by 2032)

    Climate Action Plan

    Vermont and the world are facing the impacts of climate change and it’s time to act. The initial Vermont Climate Action Plan, released on December 1, 2021, outlines steps to cut climate pollution and help Vermonters prepare for extreme weather and other impacts caused by climate change.

    The Legislature established the Vermont Climate Council to draft the plan. As they drafted the plan, the Climate Council incorporated ideas and feedback from a wide range of Vermonters.

    The initial Vermont Climate Action Plan is a first step in climate action and will be updated at least every four years. The plan includes an implementation section for legislators and other state-level stakeholders to inform decision-making.

    Net-Metering

    The net-metering program, which was established in 1999, is only one of several programs available for developing solar and other types of renewable energy in Vermont. Customers who participate in the net-metering program can offset their electric bills through financial incentives based on the amount of electricity generated by their net-metering systems

    The Vermont Public Utilities Commission manages the net-metering program. For complete information on the program visit their net-metering website:

    https://puc.vermont.gov/electric/net-metering

    Clean Energy Development Fund

    The purpose of CEDF is to increase in Vermont the development and deployment of cost-effective and environmentally sustainable electric power resources, primarily with respect to renewable energy resources, and the use of combined heat and power technologies. Additional information on CEDF can be found on the CEDF page.

    Siting Generation Projects

    Any electric generation facility must receive a Certificate of Public Good from the Public Utility Commission (PUC) before site preparation or construction can begin on that facility.   

    Section 248 of Title 30 sets forth the land use, economic, and engineering criteria that the PUC uses to review projects. Depending on the size and type of project, however, the criteria that are reviewed and the process for review can vary considerably.

    Standard Offer

    In 2009 Vermont created one of the first standard price offerings for renewables in the nation, as part of the state's Sustainably Priced Energy for Economic Development (SPEED) program. The first iteration of the program resulted in fixed-price contracts for 50 MW of in-state renewables projects (up to 2.2 MW each). In 2012 the Vermont legislature increased the program by 77.5 MW, up to a total of 127.5 MW through 2022. More information is available on the Standard Offer page.

    Resources

    This webpage provides information and resources regarding renewable energy sources including solar, biomass, wind, and hydropower.